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Holladay Journal

Ski & Snowboard News / 101 year old skier keeps going strong

Feb 13, 2019 08:45AM ● By Harriet Wallis

101 year old skier George loves to ski / photo: Harriet Wallis

George Jedenoff skis Alta’s slopes every day when he's in Utah. He charges down steep, groomed slopes, but he loves to tear up powder.

He can do it at 101 years of age because he keeps himself fit. He works out every day for 45 minutes before breakfast.

“I know I’ve got to stay in shape or I won’t be able to ski,” he says. Staying fit for life is a lesson we all might learn from him.

George was 43 when he learned to ski. He was athletic, so he decided to try skiing after he came to Utah to be the general manager of the Geneva Steel Plant, the largest steel plant west of the Mississippi.

George skis like a teen / photo: Harriet Wallis

He learned from the best: Alta’s legendary Alf Engen, Snowbird's iconic ski pioneer Junior Bonous, and Earl Miller, the granddaddy of release bindings.

“While buying my first pair of skis in Orem, I ran into Earl Miller who offered to teach me how to ski. Of course I used Miller bindings – the only safe bindings available at that time. We used the rope tow at Alta Lodge for my first lesson,” he said.

Miller promoted his bindings with photos of himself in wild falls showing how the bindings released. "One day Earl paid me quite a compliment: 'You know, George, you've made some falls I've never seen before!'"

But George learned quickly, and he fell in love with the sport, the scenery, the fresh mountain air, and especially the powder.

Then in 1967 he was transferred to Indiana. “For my community service in Utah, I was honored by KSL Radio and Eldon Tanner of the LDS Church. They presented me with a Lifetime Season Pass to Alta.,” George said. “I have made good use of this wonderful present.” He's still using it!

He bursts with enthusiasm for snow and also for life. I rode the Supreme chair with George recently and asked for his advice. He said: "Always be kind to others. Count your blessings and don't let life's problems overshadow the good in life. And above all, never give up."

George is a role model for skiers and non-skiers of all ages.

Ski Utah makes a video of George every year when he returns to ski. Click here to view last year's video of George when he was 100.

George's motto is on his skis: "Never give up" / photo: Harriet Wallis